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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeOutdoorsLake County Board; Moose Habitat Planning Project

Lake County Board; Moose Habitat Planning Project

Minnesota is one of a small number of states among the lower 48 where you may be lucky enough to see a moose in the wild. However, there is currently concern among natu­ralists and wildlife researchers because the moose population has seen a decline from around 8,800 animals in 2006, to about 3,470 animals as of 2024. Ac­cording to a report authored by Mike Schrage and other researchers and aired on Min­nesota Public Radio in March, this decline is being fueled by climate change, parasites and the fact that moose calves are easy prey for wolves and bears. Land Commissioner Nate Eide spoke with the Lake Coun­ty Board last week about the Moose Habitat Planning Proj­ect that is under way in Lake County and in other parts of the state.

The project is a collabora­tive planning effort to address the need to restore large-scale moose habitat in northeastern Minnesota. Funding for this effort comes from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with in-kind contributions from the 1854 Treaty Authority, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Su­perior Chippewa and the Min­nesota Department of Natural Resources. While the plan is a work in progress, there are a number of important aspects that the public should be aware of if we collectively want to protect and insure the health and viability of Minnesota’s iconic moose population.

The long and short of this effort is to enhance and im­prove moose habitat in three 10 to 15 thousand acre tracts of land in Lake, Saint Louis and Cook Counties. The presence of spruce budworm is one of a number of problems that will need to be addressed as this species decimates the foliage that moose rely on for both food and shelter. Other strategies that will need to be implemented in­clude, advocating for diverse timber market development, investment in roads and infra­structure for improved access to designated areas to support habitat management and ave­nues to obtain funding for the implementation of restoration and management plans.

“Though there is a strong de­sire to have moose continue to thrive in Minnesota, the level of support necessary to prioritize moose and moose habitat man­agement is lacking. This im­pacts actions that benefit moose such as limiting the scale of habitat treatments, restricting the tools available for efficient and effective habitat manage­ment and limiting funding and resources necessary for habitat treatments, research and moni­toring”.

Public awareness of this sit­uation is important. Interested North Shore residents can learn more about the Moose Habitat Planning Project by exploring the Minnesota DNR’s Moose Management Report at www.dnr.state.mn.us>moose.  

In other business, the Board authorized the appointment of Assistant County Attorney Laura Nygaard, to the position of County Attorney, effective June 3, 2024. Deputy Sheriff Timothy Johnson will be retir­ing on June 25th. The Board expressed appreciation for his service to Lake County and approved the recruitment for a full-time replacement. Finally, the Board approved the transfer of $99,218.42 of Lake Coun­ty’s Affordable Housing Aid to the Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) for use on phase 1 of the county-owned Lakeview Apart­ments rehabilitation project.

The next Lake County Board of Commissioners meeting will be held on June 11th at 2:00.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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